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Songs about travel, love, the Beatles, trombonists, birthdays, and breakfast. Like the guy and girl from "Once," but sillier. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on February 6, 2013.

Songs about travel, love, the Beatles, trombonists, birthdays, and breakfast. Like the guy and girl from "Once," but sillier.

About this project

UPDATE 1/15/13: 100% and Counting!

We are absolutely floored, flabbergasted, and flattered by the support we've seen in the first week of this campaign. We've already hit our goal and the backers keep pouring in. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We sincerely and deeply appreciate your contributions and your encouragement.

Any additional funds beyond our original goal are delicious, delicious gravy, which we will use responsibly and awesomely to make this album an even better experience for everyone. Our budget is pretty tight, so bonus funds will allow us more studio time, better pay to auxiliary musicians, and a sweeter album release party.

Hello!

We are Shannon & Stephen, and we need your help. Over the past year, we've been writing and performing songs under the guise of PepperJill & Jack, and now we want to make an album. 

OUR GOAL

To create a high-quality, highly-enjoyable album of nine original songs. 

WHERE WE'RE AT

The songs are written. We've been performing and tweaking them over the past several months, and we're feeling pretty great about what they've become. One of our songs even garnered a world record. Curious? Check out our YouTube channel to see some live performances.

In early December 2012, we approached a friend with a studio and spent a (long) day recording exactly one song. Happy with the results and the experience, we began preparing for a lengthier project.

We carefully made plans for how to best record our songs. Stephen, using his background as a classically-trained musician (read: enormous geek), has written arrangements for supplementary instruments to join us. 

WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP

Albums cost money. The studio time, the sound engineer, the editing, the additional musicians. All of these expenses are part of making a professional-sounding recording, and they make a huge difference. Take a listen for yourself:

Your contributions help turn this, a concert-performance recording:

...into this, a studio-mixed, strings-enhanced recording:

Shannon has applied her stage managing smarts to create a detailed budget and schedule for recording. We know what we want to do, we know who we want to do it with, and we have a calculated estimate of time and expenses. All we need is your help to make it happen.

IMPORTANT DETAIL: KickStarter is "All or Nothing" fundraising. In other words, if we don't make our goal by the time the campaign ends, all the pledges are refunded and we don't get any of the money. No album, no nothin'. Everyone goes home empty-handed. So pledge! And make sure your friends do, too!

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU 

 In addition to a warm fuzzy feeling inside and our undying gratitude, your pledges earn you rewards. Depending on your level of support, you'll get anything from a hand-written thank-you note to a full-blown concert and dinner in your home. Regardless of what you can afford to pledge, we hope you'll feel properly appreciated for your contributions. Take a look at the column on your right for a detailed list of what you can get.

Reusable PJ&J USB Drive with High-Quality Audio Files for Audiophiles, plus bonus content like lyrics, photos, behind-the-scenes videos, and more.
Reusable PJ&J USB Drive with High-Quality Audio Files for Audiophiles, plus bonus content like lyrics, photos, behind-the-scenes videos, and more.

HEY LOOK, A SONG!

"DORK FOR YOU"

Heaven forbid we should get this far without giving some idea of the stuff we like to write. This is, of course, just one example of what we do. Other songs have different styles, different instrumentations, different themes. We are, as they say, hard to pigeonhole. For a broader sense of what we do, go poke around our YouTube channel for more live performances.

OUR TEAM

STEPHEN BENT (SONGWRITER, TROMBONE, GUITAR, PIANO, UKULELE, VOCALS) is a very tall fellow, but friendly (think James Stewart, not Bill O'Reilly). Raised near Seattle, he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he studied trombone, guitar, voice, conducting, and gender inequity. After successfully auditioning for the Flying Karamazov Brothers, he moved to New York City and has since been enjoying an active career as a musician, juggler, and performer. Life with the FKB's has taken him to performances in Los Angeles, New York, London, Spain, Italy, Israel, and elsewhere. Stephen also works regularly as a musician around New York City, where he fosters a deep love for vocal music of all kinds. A member of an embarrassingly large number of choirs, he has been seen singing in Carnegie Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and incessantly at his living room piano. He is thrilled to be writing and performing as half of PepperJill & Jack.

SHANNON O'NEIL (SONGWRITER, UKULELE, VOCALS) is a native Californian infamous among friends for speaking her own language compiled mostly of muppet noises and many made up words. (They'll catch on one day!) She grew up singing in the shower a lot, as well as in church choir and in community theater. When she auditioned for a cappella groups in college and didn't make the cut, she started her own and was the president/musical director of the Mixtapes at NYU for 4 years. After that, she took a bit of a break from music, and is thrilled to have found a companion who makes her sing a lot more than even she thought she wanted to. She is a proud NYC resident, having lived there for the past 10 years. Shannon works as a stage manager for various theater companies, primarily Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Making music is the gravy, the icing on the cake, the spice of life, and PepperJill & Jack has been a truly life-altering exercise. She is excited to see where it goes, and hopes you enjoy the ride too!

MARK ETTINGER (SOUND ENGINEERING / BASS): Mark is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer. He and Stephen, longtime co-conspirators with the Flying Karamazov Brothers, have collaborated on many songs and juggling routines, including a high-speed hip-hop summary of Romeo & Juliet. In addition to his work as a composer of operas and musical theater, Mark has recorded and released two albums of original songs. His recently-completed, self-constructed recording studio on the Upper West Side of New York City will be the site of our album's creation.

BILL HARE (MIXING / MASTERING): A recipient of multiple (more than one!) Grammy awards, Bill also happens to have been a chaperone for Shannon's high school church choir, and one of the nicest guys you'll meet. We are super excited to have him lend us his expert ear to make this album the real deal with a polished high quality touch.

THE ASTORIA SYMPHONIC CHOIR (ADDITIONAL VOCALS): A wonderful group of singers in our neighborhood, directed by maestro Adam Eggleston. Both Stephen and Shannon proudly claim membership in this ensemble, which will be joining us on a handful of tracks for backup vocals and jubilant chorus sing-alongs. ASC was kind enough to allow us to make our debut performance in their "Shakespeare in Song" concert last March, and we deeply appreciate of all the support and friendship they've shown us.

BEN WASSON (DRUMS): Ben studied percussion at Portland State University, and is among the grooviest groovers we've ever known. Stephen and Ben toured together with the New Old time Chautauqua, making music all over the Pacific Northwest. We're lucky enough to snag him between gigs in Portland, where he plays in the folk-rock band Wildish.

BEN RYDELL (TRUMPET): Since graduating with honors at CCM in Cincinnati, Ben has wowed cruise ship audiences with his trumpet and flugelhorn. After he and Stephen performed Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" together at a church in NYC, they discovered that they were neighbors, shared a train ride home, and ate tasty chicken at a neighborhood joint. More delicious discoveries to come!

DANIEL CONSTANT (VIOLIN): Daniel and Stephen toured China together with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony last winter, performing in major concert halls in Beijing, Qingdao, Dalian, Chaoyang, Jinzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang and Xi'an. 

SAM BENT (CELLO): Sam is a rabid multi-instrumentalist, having performed extensively on piano, cello, and percussion. With the Rainier Symphony he appeared as the piano soloist for Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". Sam is also a Very Nice Guy, a Big Know-It-All, and Stephen's Dad.

AUDIENCE TESTIMONIALS

Sure, we know we're great, but don't take our word for it. Check out the praise heaped on us by recent concert attendees: 

THANK YOU

THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!

Thanks for looking through our page and considering backing PepperJill & Jack. We couldn't do this without your help, and we'll do our absolute best to make sure you feel properly appreciated. Once you become a backer, you'll receive occasional messages from us, updating you about our progress and reminding you of how wonderful you are for helping us make it happen. Hooray!

IF WE EXCEED OUR GOAL: If, by some miracle, we are lucky enough to earn more than our goal, please don't feel discouraged from being a part of this project. Our budget and schedule are relatively tight, and any additional funds would give us a bit more breathing room. More money means more time in the studio and a greater ability to more adequately compensate our musicians. We promise to put all funds to good use!

(Now go click "Back This Project"!)

Risks and challenges

We'd like to think that we're about as well-prepared for this endeavor as two people can be. Many, many hours of prep work have gone in already, including detailing schedules, consulting with music industry veterans, and extensive live performance. We've dotted our T's, crossed our I's, and...uh-oh.

Okay, so things go wrong now and then, and we're ready to accept them as they come. What if the saxophonist doesn't show up? What if we get sick the day we're supposed to record the vocals? There's an infinite number of things that could go wrong, but we promise to handle them with patience, diligence, and pragmatism. If and when we encounter challenges, we'll assess them and figure out the most practical solution. One major advantage we hold is that the studio engineer is a local friend, which means if we have to take a break to address problems, we can do so at our leisure and return to the studio when we're ready. We'll keep you, the supporters, in the loop as we progress, and we promise to finish with a quality product, come hell or high water.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    5 backers

    Thank-you postcard. We'll throw in extra love for free. PLUS a digital download of our already-completed single "Teach the Torches".

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    11 backers

    PepperJill & Jack Mail Pack:
    Sticker, refrigerator magnet, and a love note. Also included: an invite to our album release party in NYC.

    PLUS all above rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    27 backers

    Digital download of the album. PLUS all above rewards. Did you notice the party invite?

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    73 backers

    Physical copy of the album on an official PepperJill & Jack reusable USB flash drive. The full album in high-quality audio, plus digital extras (lyrics, videos, sheet music, etc.) Your name listed in the credits. PLUS all above rewards (sticker, magnet, and a party invite!)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    20 backers

    Your name included in the special "THANK YOU SONG," a musical singing of our deepest gratitude. PLUS a personalized thank you video from Stephen and Shannon. PLUS all above rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    4 backers Limited (26 left of 30)

    Your choice: EITHER official PepperJill & Jack earrings, custom-made by our dear friend (and former roommate) Eve Rickles-Young, OR personally-dedicated, autographed print of PepperJill & Jack sheet music. PLUS all above rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    25 backers

    Personalized recording of any song we already know. (See http://tinyurl.com/bpbekzw for full list of 100+ choices!). We can change the lyrics to dedicate it to a loved one, make it sillier, or mock a chosen public figure. Up to you. PLUS credited as Executive Producer. PLUS all above rewards (check 'em out!)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    7 backers

    Customized recording of a written-for-you original song, suited to your tastes. Give us a topic, a name, or a style and we'll make it happen. OR a cover of any song, your choice. PLUS all above rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)

    HOUSE CONCERT. We will travel to your home and play a show for you and your friends. Geographical restrictions apply, otherwise you cover travel costs: Before July 2013, must be within 1 hour train of NYC. After July 2013: must be within 1 hour of Seattle. PLUS all above rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (2 left of 4)

    HOUSE DINNER CONCERT: same offer as the $500 level, but we'll also cook dinner for you and up to five other friends. Following your delicious meal, we'll serenade you with the music you so generously have helped support. You also get lifetime couch privileges at the Casa de Stephen y Shannon, wherever that happens to be. And we'll catsit for you. Plus, we'll chat you up to our hot friends. Geographical restrictions apply, otherwise you cover travel costs: Before July 2013, must be within 1 hour train of NYC. After July 2013: must be within 1 hour of Seattle. PLUS all above rewards (but you only get one house concert. But that house concert comes with dinner. And it's a good dinner. We're great cooks, promise. References available upon request).

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (28 days)